Congress’ Historic Efforts to Reduce Washington’s Regulatory Burden
Throughout the 115th Congress the House of Representatives produced results that are making our country stronger and more prosperous. Some of this Congress’s first actions included historic regulatory repeal and reform. Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on the work to rein in burdensome regulations:
“Prior to 2017, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) had only been used once to repeal a regulation promulgated by the Executive Branch. At the start of this Congress, Republicans used the CRA process to repeal 17 Obama-era regulations. Eliminating these regulations saved the economy $4.1 billion in costs. Together with the Trump Administration, the regulatory relief on American businesses, farmers and ranchers, and workers has been unprecedented. Just last week, the Trump Administration announced its ‘regulatory reform efforts have saved American families and businesses $23 billion in Fiscal Year 2018.’ In fact, for every one new regulation implemented, twelve were repealed. When Republicans promised to drain the swamp, that meant taking undue power away from Washington bureaucrats who never face the voters and giving it back to the American people and their elected representatives. Congress will continue to defend Americans from harmful regulations.”
Background: Regulatory Repeal Through the Congressional Review Act
Right out of the gate, this conference fundamentally reformed our regulatory state. After years of Barack Obama’s executive overreach, we voted to repeal 17 regulations that were imposed by executive action fiat.
1. Stream Buffer Rule (H.J. Res. 38) would have saddled mines with unnecessary regulations, putting up to 64% of America’s coal reserves off limits and threatening between 40,000 to 70,000 mining jobs. Passed 228-194 with 4 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
2. SEC Disclosure Rule for Resource Extraction (H.J. Res. 41) would have put an unreasonable compliance burden on publicly traded American energy companies, putting them at a disadvantage to foreign-owned businesses. Passed 235-187 with 5 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
3. Social Security Service’s Second Amendment Restrictions (H.J. Res. 40) would increase scrutiny on up to 4.2 million law-abiding disabled Americans attempting to purchase firearms, potentially depriving people of their constitutional rights without proper due process protections. Passed 235-180 with 6 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
4. Federal Contracts Blacklisting Rule (H.J. Res. 37) would unjustly block many businesses accused of violating labor laws from federal contracts before they’ve even had a chance to defend themselves in court. Passed 236-187 with 3 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
5. Bureau of Land Management Venting and Flaring Rule (H.J. Res. 36) would further cap methane emissions in the oil and gas industry at a time when the industry is already dramatically reducing emissions, potentially wiping out family-owned marginal wells and costing an estimated $1 billion. Passed 221-191 with 3 Democrats, passed House.
6. Bureau of Land Management Planning 2.0 Rule (H.J. Res. 44) would reduce local authority over large swaths of land out west, massively expanding the federal government’s control over more than 175 million acres of land—about 4,000 times the size of Washington, D.C.—in 11 western states. Passed 234-186 with 4 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
7. Teacher Preparation Rule (H.J. Res. 58) would force states to use Washington’s standards to determine whether a teacher preparation program is effective, undermining local control over education and potentially exacerbating the shortage of special education teachers. Passed 230-181 with 5 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
8. Education Accountability Rule (H.J. Res. 57) would be an unfunded mandate imposing Washington’s standard for how to assess schools on state and local governments. Passed 234-190 with 0 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
9. Unemployment Insurance Drug Testing Rule (H.J. Res. 42) would severely restrict states’ ability to limit drug abusers from receiving unemployment benefits even if the drug users are not able and available for work, as the law requires. Passed 232-189 with 4 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
10. State Retirement Plan Rule (H.J. Res. 66) would treat employees unequally by allowing states to force some workers into second-tier government-run retirement accounts that lack the same protections as private-sector accounts. Passed 231-193 with 1 Democrat, signed by President Trump.
11. Local Retirement Plan Rule (H.J. Res. 67) would treat employees unequally by allowing certain localities to force some workers into second-tier government-run retirement accounts that lack the same protections as private-sector accounts. Passed 234-191 with 1 Democrat, signed by President Trump.
12. National Wildlife Hunting and Fishing Rule (H.J. Res. 69) would infringe on Alaska’s right to sustainably manage wildlife by overregulating hunting—a move that could set the stage for the federal government to undermine local control across the U.S. Passed 225-193 with 5 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
13. Title X Abortion Funding Rule (H.J. Res. 43) would force states to administer Title X health funding to abortion providers, even if states want to redirect those funds to community health centers and hospitals that offer more comprehensive coverage. Passed 230-188 with 2 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
14. OSHA Power Grab Rule (H.J. Res. 83) would overturn a rule that is clearly unlawful. The law explicitly states that employers can only be targeted for failing to keep proper health and safety records within a six-month time period. The rule we overturned would have extended that to a full five years. Passed 232-191 with 4 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
15. FCC Internet Service Provider Rule (S.J. Res. 34) would treat internet service providers (ISPs) the same as other companies like Google and Facebook by applying the same privacy rules to everyone. Passed 215-205 with 0 Democrats, signed by President Trump.
16. CFPB Rule (H.J.Res.111) nullifies the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) harmful arbitration rule. Passed House 231 - 190, signed by President Trump.
17. CFPB’s Auto Bulletin (S.J. Res. 57) nullifies Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) guidance addressing indirect auto lending. Passed House 234 - 175, signed by President Trump.